1 EAGLETON NOTES: Patients' Attitudes

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Thursday, 14 September 2017

Patients' Attitudes

Those who have been reading this blog for any length of time know that if I wake up in the morning and go to sleep the same night then, for me, it’s been a Good Day. This week I have had much time to reflect on that and haven’t altered my view one little bit.

I shall do (another) post in praise of the NHS shortly but this post is specifically about the attitude of the people I have encountered this week since the phone call that led to the blip in my plans last Saturday.

I was on a hospital ward from last Saturday night for 4 nights. That made me (apart from a gentleman of 102) the longest stayer on the ward whilst I was there. The second a bed became empty it was filled again. Unlike the last time I was in hospital (in Stornoway) having a knee replacement when I was acquainted with almost everyone who came into the ward this week I knew no-one. I felt like an observer.

There were no Highland or Islands accents, no Gaelic and, indeed, no English accents (I have a sort of English accent) all of which one finds in the Highlands and Islands and everyone was ‘Hen’ or ‘Pal’. Nor were there were any thin people (Mr 102 and I excepted). I felt positively emaciated.

However, by far the most noticeable thing was patient attitude. There seemed to be a strong air of negativity. I wondered how people expected to get better with such attitudes. I wondered how on earth the staff coped and put up with such attitudes. Most of all I wondered ‘Why?’.

There were the Waiting Complainers who seemed to take the view that the hospital had no one else to look after. There were the Food Complainers (I eat well and appreciate good food and I can say without hesitation that the large choice and quality of the food - which was, where appropriate, always piping hot - was pretty darn good for an institution delivering thousands of meals a day out of public funds. But then there was no junk food.). There were the They Don’t Know What They’re Doing Complainers. (Who made life even more difficult for the medics by saying that they no longer drank but surreptitiously topped up their beverages with something out of a concealed bottle). And there were the just plain Miserable Complainers.

I could go on but I’m sure that you get the picture.

My conclusion? Well I suppose it’s like every other trait and attitude we have and as I have no idea whether these things are inherent or learned or both I shall leave it at that.

However what I can say is that if you have a positive attitude then you are more likely to be happy and whilst a positive attitude won’t necessarily make you better a negative attitude is very likely to make you worse. As Mr 102 observed (rather too loudly) ‘How can that chap in the corner expect to get well with a miserable face like that?’

20 comments:

  1. The old guy's comment is a classic. He got to be 102 because of a good attitude. I don't know why people are so miserable today. It's sad.

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    1. I think you've hit the nail on the head there Red.

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  2. When I have a bad attitude it is mostly learned behaviour, as a general rule. I suspect that fear is a big influence for people in hospital and might make them more than usually negative.
    I have visited a few people in different hospitals lately and have seen food that looked utterly inedible as well as food i would have happily eaten, it just depends where you are.

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    1. Kylie perhaps I'm fortunate in that both my parents and, indeed my family in general, all have good attitudes. I can honestly say that I've never been afraid of hospitals because they are there to make me well and keep me alive (and, so far, against the odds they have been successful). I'm sure that food varies tremendously but the complainants here were eating food that was pretty darn good.

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  3. I have a friend who was recently in hospital, and he said much the same. Family members were bringing in alcohol disguised as fruit drinks, and McChicken in place of grapes.

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    1. Cro I think many people have got to the stage when they think they can abuse their bodies as much as they like with sugar, junk food and alcohol and that the NHS will just mend them anyway. Then they get pissed off with the NHS when it just can't do any more for them.

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  4. Maintaining a positive attitude is everything whether at home or in hospital. My last time was a couple of years ago, a
    lonely time all on my own except from visits by odd Dr's who came in for strange chats that had nothing to do with my condition and that greatly amused me.

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    1. Heron, I'm sorry to hear that you were isolated last time you were in hospital. I, too, was far from friends and family but modern communications are one of the best mental medicines (in my view).

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  5. You are right a positive attitude must surely work better for everyone. You didn't men†ion how you faired. Hope all is good.

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    1. Diane with the positive attitude you display I'm sure you'll survive for ever! I'm good ta. I'll do an update post.

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  6. Moaning can be infectious. People who moan all the time probably don't realise that the moaning can itself be like a cancer - eating away at one's insides. It's good to see the good in things, rather than perpetually seeking to knock and to nitpick. I am looking forward to your post in celebration of the NHS which my wife has worked for since she was sixteen. She is now 58.

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    1. YP on this we are on exactly the same wavelength. I don't think you'll be disappointed by my NHS post.

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  7. oh wow! i would have found it hard staying there too, I prefer to be positive and cheerful when I can and being negative just brings me down. I don't know why people are sometimes such complainers, surely a dose of gratitude or thankfulness could help alot.

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    1. Amy I could not agree more but so often now I find that people seem incapable of gratitude.

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  8. Complaining is often contagious (oops, I see I'm saying the same thing as YP, just in different words). Hopefully your positive attitude will keep serving you as an antidote.

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    1. Thanks Monica. It's served me well so far and my wish is to persuade others of its efficacy too.

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  9. I will be honest, I tend to be on the negative side myself. However, I try to SURROUND myself with positive people and it seems to even things out!
    Stop me if you have heard this joke...Do you know what the grapes said when they got stomped on?
    Nothing, they just let out a little wine. (Whine.) Play on words, that is funny to me every time! :-)

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    1. Well, Kay, if you aren't necessarily positive yourself the best thing you can do is surround yourself with people who are.

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